Parks and Recreation
Grove City, OH 43123
Hours: M-F 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Garden of Today
As visitors pass into the Garden of Today, forms and materials change. Curving walls and walks made of wire cut brick contrast with the rectangular forms and old brick of the Garden of Yesterday, as well as the quarry tile and rectilinear forms of the Garden of Tomorrow. The Garden of Today has aspects of herb gardens found in many locations in the last half of the 20th century. It is divided into theme gardens which emphasize the uses made of plant products and the relationships between plants. A single herb may have several uses, but it is included in the garden demonstrating its most common use. Some woody plants have herbal uses. These are included in the gardens for several reasons. They provide shade for some herbs which require it, help to visually divide areas, and provide new views as visitors turn each corner of the curving alternate paths in the garden.
Herb plants impart distinctive flavors to foods and beverages because they contain various essential oils. This can be of special importance to people on restricted diets. Culinary uses are what most people think of when they think of herbs today. Fresh herbs can provide flavor during the summer and dried herbs are convenient for winter use. The time for harvesting depends on the part of the plant being used, whether it is flower, leaves, seeds, stems, or roots.
Some essential oils of herb plants provide delightful fragrances. Such fragrances are used in perfumes, colognes, bath oils and potpourri. In addition, many herbs grown for their fragrance are quite ornamental. Many attract bees and butterflies. Fragrant plants by a door or window, as well as those taken indoors, can add to the pleasure of your home. The fragrance garden is provided to appeal to the senses of sight and smell.
Historically, the first uses of herbs were medicinal. Many plants are able to affect human physiology because of the unique chemicals they contain. In many cases, a small amount of these active ingredients is effective; a larger amount may be dangerous. Other plants with purported medicinal uses are completely ineffective. This garden contains herbs with past histories of medicinal uses. It is important to remember that self-medication with plants can be very dangerous.
Many plants contain pigments which are capable of imparting color to natural fibers such as cotton, wool, linen, and silk. Colors obtained from plants range from warm to cool, with yellows, oranges, greens, and browns most common. Fewer plants produce blue and red dye pigments. Natural dyes often produce subtle, rather than intense color. The plant part containing the pigment is boiled to extract the pigment into the solution. With some plants, the part used is the flowers, with others it is leaves, fruits, or roots. A mordant material which combines with the natural pigment to form an insoluble color is often used to make these colors more permanent.
Low-growing plants capable of withstanding frequent pruning are well suited to develop an herbal knot garden. Plants with differing colors of foliage are used to produce geometric patterns often in combination with mulch materials of differing color and texture.
Taxons are the groups into which plant scientists classify plants. Thus, a taxonomic garden, groups plants together with those in the same botanical family. Herbs represent many botanical families. Some families have one representative in this garden because they have few members which are herbs. Others, such as the Mint family, include many herbs and have many representatives in this garden. Not all families which include herbs are shown and not all herb members of any family are included.
The cutting garden is maintained to accommodate group activities and educational programs dealing with many herbal uses. It provides fresh and dried materials in quantity for culinary, dye, and fragrance uses and for making herbal wreaths and dried arrangements. Our other gardens feature diversity rather than quantity.